Falmouth Town Council chairwoman enters House race after Nelson opts out

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FALMOUTH — The Town Council chairwoman Tuesday announced her candidacy for the state House after Rep. Mary Nelson, D-Falmouth, decided not to seek a fourth term.

Councilor Teresa Pierce, who is nearing the end of her third term, is the only Democratic candidate on the June primary ballot in House District 44. In November, she would likely face Republican Gregory Payeur of Falmouth Road, who is also unopposed in his party primary.

District 44, which represents most of Falmouth, was formerly House District 112.

Nelson endorsed Pierce, according to a joint press release. She was first elected to the House in 2008, and is a senior member of the Legislature’s Education and Cultural Affairs Committee.

“This was a difficult decision because I have enjoyed serving the residents of Falmouth for the past six years,” Nelson said, “but knowing that Falmouth has an outstanding candidate to replace me has made this decision much easier.”

Pierce bills herself as a “consensus builder and pragmatist.” She served two terms as council chairwoman and one term as chairwoman of the Finance Committee. She has also served as chairwoman of the Metro Coalition, a subcommittee of the Greater Portland Council of Governments.

Pierce could not seek re-election to the council this year because of term limits. Councilor Chris Orestis is at the end of his second term.

Falmouth candidates

Nomination papers for Town Council were made available Monday, March 16. By Tuesday afternoon, three people had taken out papers for the two council seats, including Orestis. The other possible candidates are Caleb Hemphill and Erin Mancini.

Hemphill, who announced his bid in a press release Tuesday, is chairman of the Land Management and Acquisitions Committee. Mancini is an at-large member of the Long-Range Planning Committee.

Nomination papers are also available for the School Board, where three seats could be contested.

School Board member Analiese Larson is termed out after serving six years. Incumbent Lucy Tucker has taken out papers for another term. Board member Jan Andrews is eligible for another term, but had not taken out papers as of Tuesday afternoon.

Newcomers Joshua Barrett and Danielle Tracy have both taken out papers for the school seats.

Nomination papers for School Board and Town Council are available at Town Hall and must be returned by 5 p.m. April 28. They must contain between 25 and 100 signatures from registered Falmouth voters.

Elections will be held June 10.

Ben McCanna can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or bmccanna@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @BenMcCanna.